12 Weird Facts About Dreams
Dreams have been fascinating people since the dawn of time. Ancient Egyptians thought they were the gods sending messages. Sigmund Freud believed they were the window to every forbidden desire your subconscious has ever repressed. Whatever they are, we all have them (that's scientific fact), so here's a helping of dream facts you may or may not find interesting:
1. We forget 90% of our dreams. So for all that bizarro crap your brain churns out every night, leaving you to wake up and wonder, bewildered, "What was that?"... well, there's plenty more where that came from.
2. Animals dream too. Anyone who's ever seen their dog yelp and twitch while they're sleeping (or has at least seen the YouTube videos) knows this to be true.
3. Our muscles are paralyzed while we're dreaming.
4. Dreams have been thought by some to be precognitive, and not just back in ancient times. Abraham Lincoln purportedly "foresaw" his own assassination in a dream, and Mark Twain dreamed of his brother's riverboat accident before it ever happened... right down to minute details like the coffin and its placement in his sister's living room.
5. Life-altering ideas and inventions have been conceived from dreams. Elias Howe, Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, Stephen King, and Paul McCartney have attributed their sewing machines, classic novels, and famous Grammy-winning pop songs to dreams.
6. Some say dreams can be symbolic. This explains the dream where Joseph Gordon-Levitt took me to prom. Prom clearly symbolizes marriage forever, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt clearly symbolizes himself. (Is it too much to hope that that's precognitive?)
7. Birth order tends to sway dream aggression. First-born females act more aggressively in their slumber fantasies, certain as they are that they are ENTITLED TO ALL THAT POWER AND INFLUENCE. (Yes, I'm a first-born child.)
8. "Dreamed" and "dreamt" are both acceptable. Not about dreams, per se, but it needed to be said.
9. Stages of sleep are responsible for whether your dream is a sloppy mess of indistinct characters and limited focus, or a complex plot-driven masterpiece with themes and motifs. Stage 1 and 2 sleep errs toward the former, and REM sleep toward the latter.
10. "Lucid dreaming" occurs when the person becomes aware that they are dreaming, thereby giving them control over their dream. So theoretically you could fly or do perfect cartwheels or eat twice your weight in pie, or turn your nighttime adventures into your own personal Hogwarts.
11. We only dream about faces we've seen. There are no strangers in dreamworld. So it follows logically that the sombrero-wearing mystery man that tried to run me over with a motorcycle in my dream last night... I've seen him before. I just don't know where.
12. Scientists are working on being able to record dreams, which is equal parts awesome and horrifying if you've had as many naked-in-a-public-place dreams as I have.
The science of dreams has always seemed so COOL and CONFUSING to us! What's the weirdest dream you've ever had? Don't you wish we could choose our dreams like we choose the movies in our Netflix instant queue?